First, Elf, you are in control of the sugar - if you don't like a lot simply don't put that much in.
I would say the most common mistakes in making iced tea are:
*squeezing the tea bags (do not do this, it releases too many tannins and will make your tea bitter)
*making tea that is too strong (I put the tea in a pitcher *if glass add some water first so the glass doesn't break* and add some amount of sugar *this just takes practice* and pour in enough water so the tea is a reddish color; not too dark or it will taste too strong
*if you add lukewarm water you can always add more sugar or you can simply heat some of the tea and dissolve the sugar in that and then add back to your pitcher
*bring your water to a boil and turn off THEN add your tea bags, place a lid on top, and let steep for about 10 minutes or so. Simply scoop out tea bags and throw away. Do not boil the tea bags in the water, just steep with heat off.
*if your tea gets cloudy simply add a small amount of boiling water to it - it will clear right up. Also, let your tea cool completely before putting in fridge.
This is a great recipe that is basically foolproof and will last several weeks in the fridge OR it can be frozen.
Iced Tea Syrup
Boil 4 cups water
Turn off heat
Add 11 tea bags
Let steep 5 to 7 minutes
Remove tea bags
Add 1 1/4 cups sugar
Store in refrigerator
TO USE: Put ice in glass. Add ¼-cup tea syrup & 1 cup of cold water. Stir.
This is really good tea. It never ends up bitter. MAKES A LOT.
"Count yourself...you ain't so many" - quote from Buck's Daddy